By Sharon Thiel
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” Joel 2:28
“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Acts 2:17
It seems no matter where you go nowadays, people are talking about vision. From the misapplication of Proverbs 29:18 (a subject for another day), to the contention that vision must drive success, it seems impossible to avoid it as a factor in our lives.
Recently I met a young man who believes a vision given him by God will change the way Christians treat Christians, and as a result, may change for the better how Believers honor God and touch the world.
In 2010, Justin Perreault had a vision of serving the under-resourced in the city of Providence, while uniting the Body of Christ for the purpose of winning souls for the Kingdom. His call was to turn the focus off the things we don’t agree on (including doctrine and man’s interpretation) and instead focus squarely upon the Biblical truths (ie, Jesus’ identity and His life, death and resurrection) upon which we can agree.
At that time, Justin was attending North Providence Assembly of God Church, so Justin placed a fleece before the Lord, telling Jesus, “If this is of You, then Pastor Tony (Pallow) has to be behind it and agree with the vision you gave me, and will agree it’s not about one church, but instead it’s all about uniting the body of Christ. And he has to be open to working with all churches no matter the denomination.” When Justin met with Pastor Tony in early 2010, he was totally behind it. In fact, Pastor Tony was away on a missions trip prior to their meeting, and had seen a Christian concert in the middle of that city, and thought “that would be cool to have in RI”. Their conversation made them both feel it was a confirmation of God, so that first year North Providence AOG placed them under their umbrella, assisted them, and “Peace and Providence” was born. In 2011, they applied for their own non-profit status, and created a solid Board. Both present and former members of the Board have played a major role in helping the ministry grow to where it is today.
Justin currently attends Waters Church in North Attleboro, and “Peace and Providence” so far has about 18 different additional churches involved in the ministry. This is a very good thing, because one of the main events they have each year is their “Family Festival”, and in 2014 they are expecting 10,000 or more people to attend with their families, requiring a volunteer team of between 100 and 200 people! Very well organized, there is a major volunteer meeting held each year, which serves the event very well.
“Peace and Providence” has held three previous Family Festivals, with last year’s event attracting over 7,000 attendees, making the move to a larger venue necessary. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, September 6th, at the beautiful Roger Williams National Memorial, 282 North Main Street in Providence, RI from 11AM to 9PM. Parking is free at the State House lots, with a Free Shuttle provided to and from the lots during the entire length of the Festival. Admission is Free, (attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to assist the food pantry).
There will be continuous activities for children, including a petting zoo, face painting, games and more. Live music will be heard throughout all 14 hours of the Festival, including local bands such as Crimson Rain and the Joe Cantone Band. One of the highlights of the Festival is an extended time of worship and praise as they near the end of the evening, which includes an altar call. This is a great way to end an event that will provide mini-sermons by several local pastors at multiple times during the day, offering a simple presentation of the Good News of the Gospel message on each occasion. A tent dedicated to Prayer and a place for ministry will be open all day, as well.
There will be free hot dogs and water distributed at the event, and multiple food vendors offering different types of food for sale, as well. They will have free clothing available, and booths with resource persons to assist those who are seeking help in overcoming addictions, or who need to find health care information. There will also be those who can aid in finding employment opportunities, and more. Something for everyone is the goal.
In their brochure, “Peace and Providence” explains that it works “to restore hope and provide opportunities for people to become all that God intends them to be”. They “build relationships by offering a very basic scriptural presentation of the Gospel message, along with accepting prayer requests, and assisting to meet the needs of activities for daily living”. They do this by “partnering with individuals, organizations and local churches to put Christian faith into action throughout the community”.
If you would like to explore if God may desire for you to serve in this ministry, contact Justin Perreault at 401-369-9252 or 935-2850 for further information; or stop by the “Peace and Providence” information table at the event on Saturday, September 6, 2014 between 11AM and 9PM at Roger Williams Memorial, 282 North Main Street in Providence, RI. You are invited to be one of the 10,000 plus that “Peace and Providence” believes God plans to bless at “Family Festival 2014”!
Please visit their website at www.peaceandprovidence.com